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Birthday Celebrations

What does Islam say about Celebrations of Birthdays and Anniversaries

The tell-tale sign that the birthday celebrations in our times are a western development are the song words without which this function is not complete viz. "Happy birthday to you." No one says, "Happy birthday celebration" or "Happy Blessed birthday" or any other words of this kind. This disease of celebrating birthdays was never prevalent among Muslims before, but it was brought to them, like other cultural influences, during the period of colonialism.

Birthdays are celebrated to mark the completion of another year in one's life. Now just ponder, what wisdom is there in celebrating and showing happiness when a year has decreased in one's life. During a birthday celebration, candles are lit on a cake, amounting to the years of the one's life. He extinguishes these candles by blowing them out and all present clap their hands. Hands are clapped at two occasions only, one at the time of joy for some achievement of his. Secondly, when someone acts foolishly, then to mock at him. Here a person is extinguishing the rays of the years of his life by blowing them out himself. Then this is no happiness, nor is it any achievement. So the clapping of hands--- though the participants do not realize it --- is only for mocking at this person's stupidity.

To understand the nature of this foolishness, consider the example of a king who sent a few people to a room full of his treasures saying that shortly he will call them back. At that time whatever they will be possessing will be their property. Inside the treasure room, on one side there are heaps of gold and silver, on another side are laying pearls and jewels, then at another place in the room, delicious food and soft beds are arranged. Now some people think that the king may send them out any minute. They quickly gather the gold, silver, pearls and gems. They feel they will go out from there and organize the food and beds for themselves afterwards.

There is another group of people who think that they have just arrived. They say to themselves, "Let us enjoy the food, and then lay down to rest. After that we will take from the treasures. There is ample time." So they eat, sleep and pass their valuable time without taking from the treasures. Suddenly the king sends everyone out. Now those who had collected the valuables can enjoy their lives eating and sleeping while those that wasted their time and did not accumulate anything will begin to regret.

Birthdays are celebrated to mark the completion of another year in one's life. What wisdom is there in showing happiness when a year has decreased in one's life?

Every moment of this worldly life is very valuable. Here we have to earn for the long and everlasting life of the Hereafter. Rasulullah Sallal-lallahu alayhi wa sallam has said that after entering into Jannah, the people of Jannah will not be sorry about anything of this world, except for that moment which was spent without the remembrance of Allah. It is apparent that when reward will be granted for remembrance of Allah in this world, which is a place for actions, then one must surely feel very regretful, that if they should have spent more time in the remembrance of Allah, they could be worthy of more rewards. How can it be permissible to waste time by celebrating birthdays and becoming happy that a big slice of one's life is gone?

This world is a prison for the believer and a Jannah for the disbeliever. Allah has bought the life and wealth of the believers for Jannah. This life is a trust of Allah with us. Rasulullah Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam said, "A person will not be able to move from his place, until he replies to five questions:

1) How did you spend your life?
2) How did you spend your youth?
3) Where did you earn your wealth from?
4) Where did you spend your wealth?
5) How much did you act upon your knowledge?"

A person who is concerned with replying to these questions, how can he show happiness for the decrease in the remaining years of his life?

Besides, Islam does not permit waste. This is the reason that the poor of this Ummah will enter Jannah 500 years before the wealthy, because the wealthy will be delayed as they will have to first give an account of their wealth.

By spending on birthday parties, there is no benefit to Islam nor to the poor. It is stated in a Hadith, the worst Valima feast (wedding party) is the one in which the poor and destitute are left out and the wealthy only are invited.

Another object of the birthday parties is showoff. Islam encourages simplicity. By this attitude of showoff, the poor feel inferior and deprived and the rich have a superiority complex. Also, in these gatherings, music, singing, video filming and the taking of photographs and other un-Islamic and forbidden acts take place.

May Allah Taãla guide us and protect us from all these evils.

Islam supports the celebration of birthdays if it is an expression of gratitude to Allah for His bounties, sustenance and blessings in man’s life, as long as that celebration does not include anything that may displease Allah, the Almighty.

If one thanks Allah and shows gratitude for being blessed with one more year of his life, thus expresses happiness and joy, then there is nothing wrong with that. (See: al-Fatawa al-Rahimiyya (urdu), 6/320).

Allah Created US

Why has Allah created us?

To worship Him alone and to worship no other besides Him.

Evidence from the Noble Qur.aan [And I have not created Jinn and human beings except they should worship Me], [Soorah adh-Dhaariyaat, Aayah 56]

Evidence from the authentic Sunnah ((The right of Allaah upon slaves is to worship Him and not to associate partners with Him)), Transmitted by al-Bukhaaree and Muslim]

IT Jobs in Bank

I want to clarify whether doing a job in the Information Technology department at a conventional bank is right or not. Being an IT professional, our duties and responsibilities are only fixing, installing, configuring, and maintaining IT tools like computers, software, ATM machines, and day to day operational engineering activities. As far as financial matters are concerned we have an expense budget to purchase expensive equipments but we do not know the source of these funds; whether they are riba based or profit based. In fact we don't know the source of our salaries either.

My senior in bank has told me that he has verbal permission from Darul Uloom Karachi that an IT department job in a bank is permissible. Please clarify if this is permissible or not according to above stated job responsibilities.

If the major source of the bank's income is from haram, for example, interest, etc. then it is not permissible to work there in normal circumstances. If your circumstances are abnormal, kindly present that for us to consider a leeway for you in accepting salary from a haram source.

The second issue is assisting in sin. Obviously, the conventional banks are based on interest and other haram forms of dealings. The IT department plays an integral part of that system. Although you will not be directly involved in the haram transactions, you will be an integral part of the bank and therefore your income will be makrooh (contaminated).

Working at an Islamic bank is permissible provided that the Islamic bank conducts its transactions according to the Sharia principles of Islamic banking

And Allah Ta'ala Knows Best

What does Islam say about having Moustache?

What is the ruling on moustache in Islam? Should the moustache be completely removed or rather only shortened? One alim in our area has long moustache in the two corners in upper lip and he said he is following the Sunnah of Umar bin Khattab (Radhi Allahu Anhu) who used to pull his moustaches hair near the lips when he was in deep thought of something and from this it is established that Umar (Radhi Allahu Anhu) had hair on both sides of the lips.

It is not permissible to allow the hairs of the moustache to touch the upper lip (the top part of the upper lip). This area should always remain free of any hair touching it. If the hair is to touch this part of the lip, ones moustache will be deemed to be too long and hence, impermissible. Rasulullah has mentioned that whosoever lengthens his moustache (i.e. allows it to touch the upper lip) will not attain my intercession (on the Day of Judgment).

Lengthening the moustache on the sides without allowing the hair to touch the upper lip as you have mentioned with regards to the practice of Hazrat Umar Radhi Allahu Anhu is acceptable and perhaps even preferred during the days of Jihad.

However, under normal circumstances the more preferred method to adopt is to trim the moustache completely in such a way that the skin beneath the moustache is visible.

And Allah Ta'ala Knows Best

Swimming in Community Pool When No One is There

I would like to ask if this is permissible: My husband and I and my 2 small children live in an apartment complex. There is a community swimming pool; there are people in it after 5 pm usually. We have checked that on weekdays in the afternoon, around 12 pm to 4 pm there is no one ever in the swimming pool. And the pool is covered by a wall around it, so no one can see inside. I would like to know as I wear a hijab and also cover my face when I go out, is it permissible if I and my husband go to swim in those specified hours around 11:30 am to 1:30 pm, with our children. I will be wearing full clothes when inside water and have my hijab right next to the pool in case someone comes in. As my husband will be there, he can tell me before hand if someone is coming in. Please let me know if this is permissible. JazakAllah khair.

If you have the public swimming pool by yourself and based on your experiences and observations that nobody uses the public pool on the times mentioned by you, you may use the public pool to your advantage in the presence of your husband.

Women Answering Phone Calls

Should a woman answer the phone in her home?

The ruling for a woman answering the telephone is similar to her answering the knock on the door. If there is a male available to answer, then he should do so. If a male is not available to answer the phone, then a female may answer the telephone.

If the caller is a male, then the female should reply in a straight tone and she should confine her response to the need. And Allah Ta'ala Knows Best.

If you are reasonably certain (e.g. through caller ID or the timing of a call) that the call is for the woman in the house then, of course, it would be appropriate for her to pickup the phone. The whole purpose is to avoid unnecessary communication between men and women who are not unmarriageable.

Muslim Woman's Name After Marriage

Could you please let me know that why our Muslim woman's name changes after marriage i.e. her father's name is replaced by her husband's name? Is this permissible under our Sharia as I heard from someone that Qur'an says a person's name be called with her/his parents name.

In our country like India, woman's father name replaced with her husband's name after marriage but in Saudi Arabia it is not like that as they claim that it is according Islamic rites.

It is neither necessary nor forbidden for a married Muslim female to assume her husband's surname.

Can a Girl Get Married on Her Own?

Can a girl get married by herself if elders and her parents do not take interest in her marriage? Does she have the right? What does Islam say about the age for her marriage?

A girl has the right to get married on her own. However, Shari'ah has considered, for her own well being, that a guardian see to her marriage, etc. If her guardians do not take interest in her, she should consult some other close relative to find her a suitable marriage partner.

Nabi Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam said, 'Do not delay in two things; The Janaaza Salat when the bier is ready and the marriage of a single woman.'

Therefore, as soon as a female reaches a marriageable age, she should get married.

Women's Jamaat in Taraweeh

Is it permissible for three sisters who have completed their hifz of Qur'an to have taraweeh in their house with their mother? The Imam will be one of the sisters and will stand in the saff (row) with the rest of the followers. The sole purpose will be to improve the memorization of the Qur'an.

There is a hadith in Ela'us Sunan of Maulana Zafar Thanavi, Rahmatu-Allah alayhi, regarding the non permissibility of Jamaat of women. Is that only for the fard prayer? Or does it also include nafl/tarweeh prayers? What will be the answer of the precedence in which Sayyidah Aishah, Radi-Allahu-anha, made Imamat of women?

It is normally not advisable, rather it is Makruh to hold a congregational prayer for women; the Holy Prophet Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam has directed them to perfrom their prayers alone in their houses. But if women make a congregational prayer in order to improve the memorization of Qur'an as is in your case, it may be permitted with the following conditions:

1. It is not regarded as a better way of prayer for women.
2. No other woman is invited to join the congregation
3. The Imam should stand in the center of the row and not in the front of the followers.

Male Giving Driving Lessons to a Female

I am a driving instructor in the UK. Does Islam permit me to give lessons to women?

It is haram for a male to give driving lessons to a Ghayr Mahram (not prohibited in marriage) female.

Rasulullah, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, ordered that a strange male should not be alone with a strange female. In view of the Hadith, it is not permissible for your friend to be alone with strange females and teach them driving.

Can a Woman Administer Shahada to a New Muslim?

A non-Muslim young boy started working for a Muslim family as domestic servant. Later he decided to accept Islam and take Shahada. As they live in a remote town where no male was available, the lady of the house administered the Shahada. She is helping him memorize the verses and whenever he offers salat, she helps him. Under the circumstances, has she done the right thing?

It is permissible for a female to make a male take the Shahaada. Under the circumstances, the lady has done the correct thing. She could continue to educate the new Muslim with regards to salah and other aspects of deen. However, she should observe the shariah laws of hijab whilst doing so.

Dealing With Women in the Work Place

In the environment where I work, women are also working and they offer us sweets, etc. Are we allowed to take it or not?

Shariah has emphasized to maintain strict Hijab with strange women. It is not permissible to maintain a free relationship (all forms of socialization, for example, giving and accepting sweets, etc.) with strange women.

Placing Conditions for Marriage

Can a wife make a condition when she is marrying that husband is not allowed to take a second wife? Will such a condition be valid?

A woman can put such a condition before marrying, but according to Hanafi Jurists, it will not be binding on the husband in legal terms. However, it may be taken as a promise, and the husband is under a moral obligation to fulfill the condition, and not marry a second wife. If he violates this moral condition without a valid reason, he will be committing the sin of backing out of the promise, but no legal remedy can be sought against him.

Uncomfortable with Loud Dhikr

I recently attended a collective dhikr program at my local mosque. My question is what is the significance of turning the head to the right side and then forcefully downward when reciting "illalah" of la ilaha illalah. I also notice that they recite "illalah" with lot of force deep in throat. Why is that? I have read Mufti Ibrahim Sahib's response to these gathering on his website Ask-Imam so I know that these gathering are permissible but for some reason I did not feel comfortable in the gathering and I don't feel like attending any more. I prefer to do my dhikr individually. Are these feelings wrong?

This particular method of dhikr has been adopted by some spiritual masters not as a Sunnah or as a Mustahab way but as a method to achieve concentration. So far as this method is adopted for this purpose, and is not taken as a Sunnah, it is permissible. However, if you feel more comfortable with individual dhikr there is nothing wrong in it; rather, it is more rewardable to make dhikr in a low voice than doing it in a loud voice.

Repeating Surahs in Salat

I read in a book that Rasoolullah Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam often used to say the sunnats of Fajr Salat in the following manner:

In the first rakaat he used to recite Surah Kafiroon three times and in the second rakaat he used to recite Surah Ikhlaas, Surah Falaq and Surah Naas together. Please authenticate this and in the above light I would like to know whether it is proper to recite several Surahs in a single rakaat or repeat a particular syrah two or three times in a singer rakaat. [Shehab Zafar]

Rasulullah Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam has been reported to have recited several Surahs in a single Rakaat in various Ahaadith.

According to the Hanafi Madhab, it is permissible to do so in the Nafl Salawaat. It is better not to do it in the Fardh Salat. However, if one does it in the Fardh Salat, it will not be Makrooh as long as no Surah has been left out in between. (Shaami vol.1 pg.546; Kabeeri pg.494)

It is also permissible to repeat a single verse in one Rakaat a few times in the Nafl Salat. It is Makrooh to do so in the Fardh Salat. (Kabeeri - sharh Munyatul Musallee pgh.494)

Recitation of Fatiha in Salah

I follow Imam Abu Hanifa. When I pray fard salah behind any imam I do not recite surah Fatiha, but my friends who follow other imams do. They told me one hadith of Prophet Muhammed Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam said "One who does not recite surah Fatiha his salah is incomplete". So please tell me why we don’t recite surah Fatiha.

The difference of opinion that is found among the imams of Fiqh is based upon, among other things, a difference in the principles that each of the imam's have in deducing rulings from the sources of Sharia. Similarly the method of interpretation of a hadith results in different rulings being deduced. This is not objectionable and such differences in interpretation of the words of Rasulullah Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam even existed among the Companions (R.A.) which were not objected to by Rasulullah Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam.

With regards to the Fatiha in salah, whereas there is a hadith that states that the salah of a person who does not recite surah Fatiha in his salah is invalid, there is also another hadith that states that when a person performs his prayer behind an imam then the recitation of surah Fatiha of the imam is sufficient for him. The Hanafi scholars rule that a follower should not recite surah Fatiha based on the latter hadith and other similar verses or narrations that indicate towards this. The difference of opinion that exists with regards to raising one’s hands before ruku is also based on similar narrations that are found in the books of hadith.

In a nut shell, each of the four schools has the proofs of their rulings and we should follow the school of fiqh that we belong to, without engaging in debates about these matters with those of a different school.

Praying in Short Sleeves

I would like to know the ruling of putting on a sleeveless shirt then going to perform salah.

As a general rule, it is makruh (disliked) to wear in salah any attire which a person of sound religious disposition will not wear in a respectable gathering or in front of a respectable person. This is so because in salah a person is standing before the Lord of both worlds. Thus short sleeve shirts are not an appropriate form of dress for salah.

In this regard we should remember the command of Allah:

خُذُواْ زِينَتَكُمْ عِندَ كُلِّ مَسْجِدٍ

”Wear your beautiful apparel at every time and place of prayer.” [Al-a’raf, 7:31]

Men and Women Praying in the Same Room

Is it allowed for Muslims to pray together (man and women) in a room at home and these Muslims are not all from one family. For example, my family and the family of my brother or my family and the family of my neighbor.

It is Sunnat-e-Muakkadah (emphasized Sunnah) for males to perform Salat with congregation in the masjid. According to some Fuqaha, it is wajib. Others say it is fardh. Every possible effort should be made by males to perform Salat with congregation at the Masjid. It is advisable for a female to perform Salat individually in the confines of her home.

Reverting to the query of males and females performing Salat together in one room, it is important to understand that if they are Ghayr Mahrams (not prohibited in marriage) unto one another, they should observe hijab from one another. Ghayr Mahram males and females should not be together in one room for any reasons, which include performing salat. In these times of corruption and evil, there should be more emphasis on the Shariah ruling of separation between Ghayr Mahram males and females. It is primarily for this reason that many Ulama prohibit females coming to the masjid. Those Ulama who permit females coming to the masjid also emphasize on them being completely separate. It is not permissible for Ghayr Mahram males and females to be in one room and perform Salat in congregation.

Wearing Cap While Praying

I want to ask whether it is necessary to wear a cap while praying? Some people say that the prayer is not accepted without a cap or anything. Are there any Hadith regarding this matter?

Is the wearing of a cap proven from Hadith? Did Rasulullah Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam and the Sahaba wear it?

Abu Kabsha (Radhiallaahu Ánhu) narrates that the caps of the companions of Rasulullah Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam used to be round and spacious. (Mirqaat vol.8 pg.246)

It is narrated by Tabrani on the authority of Ibn Umar (Radhiallaahu Ánhuma) that Rasulullah Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam used to wear a white cap. (Ibid)

Hassan Basri (Rahmatullah Alayhi) states that the people (Sahaba - Radhiallaahu Anhum) used to make Sajda (prostrate) upon their turbans and caps. (Bukhari vol.1 pg.56; Rashidiyya)

Mullah Ali Qari (Rahmatulah Alayhi) states that the wearing of the cap has become one of the salient symbols of Islam. (Mirqaat vol.8 pg.246) It is the only outward and unique salient feature that distinguishes a Muslim from a non-Muslim. No other community group or people wear the Muslim type hat.

Bad Thoughts in Prayer

Whenever I go to the mosque and start my prayer, strange thoughts come to my mind. Whenever some holy verse is recited, I suddenly think of some foolish meanings. Please help me in this regard.

You should try your level best to concentrate in your salah and should not entertain such thoughts. Remember that the thoughts coming on their own is not objectionable. Bringing the thoughts in one's mind or entertaining them further once they come is what is objectionable. The following are some useful points that could assist in acquiring concentration in salah.

1. Be always deeply thankful and grateful to Allah Ta'ala for having blessed you with the ability to perform salah in congregation punctually.

2. After making wudu with the correct adaab reading the specific duas and without wasting water etc. proceed to the masjid with wudu with the firm belief that your sins have been washed away by the wudu and in the steps you take when proceeding to the masjid. Wear good clean clothes that the pious wear. Apply attar (perfume). Aim to get the entire reward of your salah.

3. Avoid all types of worldly and unnecessary talks when proceeding to the masjid.

4. Gracefully come to the masjid at least a few minutes before the salah can commence.

5. After reciting the masnoon dua of entering the masjid and the two rak’ahs on entry etc, meditate about death, sincerely engage in istighfar and repentance and consider the possibility that this may be your last salah. Imagine that this is your last salah. Perhaps you will not have a chance to offer another salah. Reply to adhan and read the prescribed dua after the adhan. If there is any sunnats to be performed perform them. Between the adhan and iqamah make dua.

6. Contemplate and think of the ayat verses and adhkar that you are reciting or listening to during the prayer. Isn’t is disheartening that someone may perform salah for decades, day after day, and still not know what they are saying?

At the time of changing postures, feel that your entire body is performing that posture for Allah Ta'ala. Try and maintain the thought that Allah Ta’ala is watching.

7. Make dua regularly that Allah Ta'ala grant us all the true spirit and acceptance of salah.

8. Avoid all doubtful things, people and places especially the media (TV, magazines, newspapers, questionable sites on the Internet etc.)

9. For a few minutes in the day read up the stories of the pious as well as the books of Fadail (Virtue). Books like Fadail A'mal, Fadail Sadaqat and Bihishti Zewar are recommended for this.

May Allah Ta'ala grant us all the true spirit and acceptance of salah, and ultimately His pleasure.

When to Rise up to Complete Remaining Salah In Jama’a

I read in an answer to a question titled "Method of Joining Prayers" by Mufti Taqi Usmani that a masbuq should stand up right after the Imam's first salam. I read in Bihishti Zever written by Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi that the masbuq should stand after the Imam's second salam. Kindly correct and enlighten me in light of ahadith.

With regards to when the masbooq should stand up to complete the portion of the salah that he missed, the principle is that the masbooq should wait to ensure that there is no sajda-e-sahw upon the Imaam. If the Masbooq becomes certain of this after the first salaam (When the imam commences the second salam), then the masbooq could stand and complete his salah. (Shaami 1/596)

Moving to Fill a Gap While Praying in Congregation

What is the Shariah ruling if once I have began my salah, a space in front of me becomes vacant? Should I break my salaah and step forward or should I step forward without breaking my salaah or should I remain in my place and leave the front row incomplete?

If there is an empty space in the front row, you should fill it without taking two steps at one time. Either take one big step or pause after the first step before taking the second one. And Allah Taãla Knows Best.

When Does Isha Time End

I want to know how late can one say Ish'a Paryer. Someone told me that it's better to pray qada salat after midnight. Can we say our Ish'a pryer after 12:00 if in case we can't perform it in jaa'mat?

The permissible time to perform Isha salat is untill subh-sadiq (true dawn). To perform Isha salat after half of the night has passed will be considered makrooh (undesirable). After midnight one can perform salat, and this will be considered performed in its valid time (ada), not qada. Half the night can be calculated by finding the midpoint between sunset and subh-saadiq. (Fataawa Mahmoodiyah vol.2 pg.146, 240).

Is Reciting Qur'an Without Understanding Useless?

My question to Maulana Sahib is regarding the purpose of Qur'an. Is it just reading it, or understanding it? This question is regarding the people who do not understand Arabic.

I have seen many people who just read and listen to Qur'an without Tarjumaah (translation), and know zero percent of what Allah Ta'ala is saying to them. When I ask them why don't you listen to the recitation plus tarjumaah they insist that there is a special effect of the words and that the Qir'at (recitation) of Qur'an and its virtue is unmatchable.

My mind does not accept this. Although I believe that the words of Qur'an do have a very special effect and yet there is a great virtue of listening to them. But I think that this is a secondary blessing of Allah. I think what Qur'an has to give is just hidden in its words. Same as if your mother asks you to do something in French and you don't understand French, then you can't help yourself by acting upon her order.

And I think the best is that everybody should try to learn Arabic.

The noble Qur'an is that noble and blessed book of Allah Ta'ala which He revealed for the guidance of mankind. The virtues of reciting the Qur'an are numerous, but there is one virtue which supercedes all others.

Sayyidna Abu Sa'eed Khudri, Radi-Allahu anhu narrates that Rasulullah Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam said, 'That person who due to excessive recitation of the Qur'an is not able to make Allah Ta'ala's Dhikr and Du'a, Allah Ta'ala will bestow such a person with more blessings and Ni'mat than even those who make Dhikr and Du'a.' (Tirmidhi). What better virtue can there be, when Allah Ta'ala takes it upon Himself to bless such people who recite the Qur'an excessively?

The question arises that whether a person will attain this virtue, by only reciting it with understanding, or does he also obtain the benefits if he recites without understanding?

Sayyidna Abdullah ibn Ma'sood, Radi-Allahu anhu narrates that Rasulullah Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam said, 'That person who recites one letter from the Kitabullah, he will get one reward, and one is multiplied by ten.' He further went on to say, 'I do not say that Alif, Laam, Meem is one letter, but instead alif is one letter, laam is one letter and meem is one letter.' (Tirmidhi)

If we ponder over this Hadith, we will find that there is no condition that the reciter will only get Thawab (reward) if he recites the Qur'an with understanding.

In the noble Qur'an, there are many Ayahs which we do not know the meaning of, for example, Huroof Muqattaat, which appear at the beginning of some Surahs, e.g. Alif-laam-meem.

We do not know the meaning of such Ayahs, but we still recite them. If we do not get reward for reciting the Qur'an without understanding, then it will imply that we will not get reward for reciting these Ayahs of the Qur'an as we do not know their meanings, but Nabi Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam chose the words Alif-laam-meem knowing well that he had not explained them to the Ummah, yet he still commanded us to recite them, and described the virtues for reciting such three alphabets.

From the above points, it is clear that even though a person recites the Qur'an without understanding, he will still attain the virtues and benefits of reciting it.

However, if after learning how to recite the Qur'an, a person goes on to learn the meaning of the Qur'an so that he understands the orders and commands of Allah Ta'ala, the reward for such a person is certainly more.

How Will We Be Called on Judgment Day?

On the Day of Judgment (Qiyamat), will a person be called by his father's name or his mother's name?

Imam Bukhari (RA) has included the following subtitle in his Sahih, 'Chapter on the fact that the people will be called by their father's name'. Under this chapter, he has recorded the narration of Sayyiduna ibn Umar, Radi-Allahu anhu, that Rasulullah Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam said, 'Verily, a banner will be raised for the treacherous person on the day of Qiyamat and it will be proclaimed, 'This is the treachery of so and so, the son of so and so.' (Sahih Bukhari Hadith6177) (Note that the masculine tense was used for the parent of this 'so and so'.)

Imam Khattaabi, Imaam ibn Battaal, Haafiz ibnul Qayyim, Haafiz ibn Hajar, Allaamah 'Ainiy and Haafiz Qastalaaniy (RA) have all stated that this Hadith is a proof in argument against those who claim that people will be called by their mother's name. (Refer Sharah ibn Battaal vol.9 pg.335, Tazab ibnul Qayyim li Abi Dawud vol.7 pg.250, Fathul Baari vol.10 pg.689, Umdatul Qaari vol.22 pg.201 and Irshaadus saari vol.13 pg.184). The reason for this is that Rasulullah Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam said that it will be proclaimed, 'This is . of so and so, the son of so and so - masculine (fulaan ibn fulaan)' and Rasulullah Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam did not say, 'fulaan ibn Fulaanah' (which means 'so and so, the son of so and so - feminine)

Moreover, the argument of those who choose the contrary (i.e. people will be called out by their mother's name) is based on narrations which have been classified as extremely weak by Haafiz ibn Hajar and others (refer Fathul Baari vol.10 pg.289 and Irshaadus saari vol.13 pg.184). Haafiz ibnul Qayyim (RA) states that the Ulama have consensus on the fact that this hadith is weak (Tahzib of Ibn Qayyim vol.7 pg.250)

Hafiz Ibn Qayyim (RA) further states, 'This hadith is unsuitable for argument and more over it is in contradiction with a Sahih (authentic) narration.' (Ibid)

After contemplating the above, it would be understood that the stronger and more preferred view is that on the day of Judgment, a person will be called out by the name of his father and not his mother, as it is substantiated by the hadith of Sahih Bukhari and Sunan Abu Dawud.

Using Cell Phone During I’tikaf

If a person is sitting in I’tikaf, is it acceptable for him to send text messages or call his family members?

Just as it is permitted to send a letter to one's family and enquire of their well-being during I'tikaf it is also permissible to send a text message or communicate with one's family using modern methods of communication. One should however avoid vain and futile matter and discussion whilst in I'tikaf. One should also keep in mind the etiquette of using a cell phone and the respect and sanctity of the masjid. Impermissible content should not be seen, heard or spoken on the mobile nor should one disturb others that are in the masjid.

One should preferably limit such communication to the extent of necessity. Further, if the necessity could be fulfilled by sending a message with someone rather than sending a text message, or writing a note and having it sent then it appears better that this method be adopted rather than using the cell phone in the masjid. One should try one's best to derive maximum benefits of I'tikaf by ensuring that one concentrates on one's objective of seclusion with Allah (SWT) in his home.

The reality of the matter is that though the cell phone is an extremely useful tool, one could easily be distracted by messages and phone calls and thereby fail to achieve the true benefits of I'tikaf.

Du’as for Getting Married

I am unmarried and facing great difficulty in getting married. Very few proposals come due to my increased age and no progress is seen. I request you to suggest me the Qur’anic ayat or any other Islamic adhkar for getting good proposals and to get married soon.

May Allah (SWT) ease all your difficulties and grant you a pious and righteous spouse. My sincere advice to you in the meantime is as follows:

1. Perform Salat-ul Hajat and ask Allah (SWT) to grant you a pious compatible husband.

2. Do not pay attention to the questions of people and do not allow yourself to become overwhelmed by their comments and questions.

3. Ponder over the fact that this worldly life is temporary, and in fact very short. Our real objective in life is the worship of Allah (SWT). Hence, whilst you have the opportunity to engage in a lot of Ibadat, use this time profitably rather than spending it in disappointment and depression. You will Inshallah find the great sweetness Allah (SWT) has kept in His worship.

4. Ponder over the fact that Allah (SWT) has mentioned in the Holy Qur’an that He is sufficient for his servants.

5. Recite 'Ya Jaami'u' in abundance. You may also recite

رَبِّ إِنِّي لِمَا أَنزَلْتَ إِلَيَّ مِنْ خَيْرٍ فَقِيرٌ

"Rabbi Innee Limaa Anzalta illayya min Khairin Faqeer" [28:24]

(translation: "O' my Rabb, Verily I am most in need of any good that You might bestow on me.").

Recite it seven times after every salah with Durood Shareef (Salat Ibrahimiya) thrice at the beginning and end.

6. Endeavour to speak to pious influential and understanding people within your family to assist you in this regard.

7. Always maintain the respect of your parents.

8. Keep yourself occupied and do not allow your mind to remain idle.

May Allah (SWT) grant you a compatible pious husband.

Hearing Qur’an and Islamic talks while doing something else

I want to know whether I can hear the Qur’an or hear talks from islamic scholars while working on some software code or while playing games?

It is obviously disrespectful to hear the Qur’an being recited and not listen to it attentively. Hence, one should avoid playing a Qur’an audio while one is engaged in other activities.

Similarly one must also give due attention when listening to an Islamic lecture, though this does not have the same status as listening to the Holy Quran and as such one may listen to a talk whilst engaged in other activities. However, this is not preferable as it could lead to incorrect understandings and misquotations etc.

Is it Sunnah to Eat Sweets after a Meal?

Quite often people say it is sunnah to eat sweets after a meal. Is this true?

During the time of RasulullahSall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, the luxury of eating a sweet dish at every meal did not exist. Rather, there were times at which months would go by in which the stove/fire did not burn in the house of RasulullahSall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam. However, some narrations suggest that at times Rasulullah Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam had dates either before or after the meal. Based on this, having something sweet could be considered to be established at times before, and at times after the meal. However, this is not a regular or emphasized Sunnah or practice of the Holy ProphetSall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam.

Celebrating Islamic New Year

I have noticed many Islamic organizations and masjids wishing people “Happy New Year” in relation to the Islamic New Year. I even heard the Friday sermon asking people to make personal resolutions for the New Year.

Is there any evidence in the Quran and Sunnah to commemorate the start of a new Islamic year by doing any specific acts on this day, such as sending each other greetings or making resolutions, or is this behavior among Muslims just another form, like Eid Greeting cards, of imitating the Christians in how they celebrate and commemorate their events?

According to my knowledge celebrating the Islamic New Year and sending messages commemorating the same is not an established teaching of Islam. Rather, it seems that this practice has been taken from the practices of other cultures and religions and hence must be avoided. One should not wait for the new year to make resolutions with regards to one's spiritual upliftment and working towards achieving them. Good deeds and taubah should never ever be delayed.

Is Rahman a Valid Name for a Person?

Is the name "Rahman Brothers Petroleum Service" correct according to the Shariah? Please note that for the change of name or title, it may take several months.

"Rahman" is an exclusive quality of Allah (SWT). It is not permissible to name a person Rahman without adding a prefix like "Abdul" or "Abdur". Calling a person named Abdul Rahman as Rahman is also not permissible for the same reason. It is a grave sin although many people commit it carelessly. Hence, the name of the station is not appropriate. It should be changed. The delay that may take place due to the procedure this entails is tolerable.

Photo Poster of Kabah with Images of People

A friend of mine gave me a photo poster of the Ka'bah as a gift. I would like to frame it and hang it in my house. The picture has images of people performing tawaf. The faces of the people can be clearly seen. Is it permissible to hang this? Also, in general, is it permissible to have photo posters of the Ka'bah which have images of people but their faces cannot be seen? Your advice is greatly appreciated.

It is not permissible to frame or hang the picture of the Ka'bah if the faces are clear and visible.

However, if an aerial picture is taken and the faces are not recognizable, it will be permissible to frame the picture of the Ka'bah.

Birthstone Rings

Is it proper to wear birthstone rings in the belief that they protect from evil and save from misfortune?

Allah Ta'ala is the absolute protector from evil and misfortune. It is incorrect to believe that the birthstone will protect one from evil. Wearing the birthstone with that intention is incorrect. And Allah Ta'ala Knows Best

Astrology and Horoscopes

If a person shows his/her hand to a palmist, his/her 40 days' prayers are not accepted. Does this also apply to the case of someone only casually reading a horoscope?

Also, back in school, I thought only believing in palmistry was forbidden in Islam. And I didn't know that your 40 days' prayers are not accepted if you show your palm to someone. So, out of ignorance, I showed my palm to a girl who claimed to know palmistry. I did it just for fun (and not because I believed in it). When I got to know about the punishment, later on, I offered nafil-i-tauba and sought Allah's forgiveness for the same. Will I be forgiven (since it was something I did out of ignorance)?

Palmistry, fortune-telling etc are acts which are absolutely abhored and forbidden in Islam.

The degree to which these acts are forbidden could be grasped from the fact that the one who does the fortune telling has been classified as a kafir.

Similarly, the one who believes in what the fortune teller says has also been mentioned to be a kafir.

Thus we can see the severity of these acts and we can understand that showing the hand to the palmist is completely forbidden, regardless of whether one believed her or not.

Now, if one showed the hand or read the horoscope INTENDING to accept what was to be told, then the salah of that person for the next forty days would go unrewarded ie. the salah would not have to be repeated, but no reward would be accrued for it.

And if one did believe the fortune-teller or palmist, then the hadith clearly mentions this person to be out of the fold of Islam.

As for your showing your palm to that girl, it was wrong to do so, but as you did repent we hope that Allah Ta'ala would forgive you for it. (References: Fatawa Mufti Mahmud 1/195, Ahsanul Fatawa 1/52, Khairul Fatawa 1/75, Nizamul Fatawa 1/81, Mirqaatul Mafateeh, Sharh Muslim of Nawawi)

Status of Cigarettes in Islam

What is the status of cigarettes in Islam, and what is the difference between haram and makrooh?

Haram and makrooh tahreemi both refer to something that is impermissible and sinful. However, there are some differences between them that may be explained as follows:

Haram is where something is clearly and unambiguously prohibited through a very high level of Shari’ proof and severe reproach has been mentioned for committing such an act. Makrooh tahreemi, on the other hand refers to something that is very close to it, in that either the proof is of a high level but not to the extent that is could be termed haram or there is not such a high level of reproach mentioned for committing such an act. Further, someone who denies a haram act being haram and states it to be halal will be deemed to be out of the fold of Islam (e.g. if one regards swine or wine etc to be halal), whilst one who regards an act that is makrooh tahreemi to be permissible will not be deemed to be out of the fold of Islam.

In terms of cigarettes, we are of the view that they are makrooh.

Marriage with Hindus

Is marrying a Hindu boy or girl permissible in Islam? If not, can you give references from the Qur’an and Hadith?

It is not permissible for a Muslim to marry a Hindu. This has been specifically prohibited in the Holy Qur’an.

وَلاَ تَنكِحُواْ الْمُشْرِكَاتِ حَتَّى يُؤْمِنَّ وَلأَمَةٌ مُّؤْمِنَةٌ خَيْرٌ مِّن مُّشْرِكَةٍ وَلَوْ أَعْجَبَتْكُمْ وَلاَ تُنكِحُواْ الْمُشِرِكِينَ حَتَّى يُؤْمِنُواْ وَلَعَبْدٌ مُّؤْمِنٌ خَيْرٌ مِّن مُّشْرِكٍ وَلَوْ أَعْجَبَكُمْ أُوْلَـئِكَ يَدْعُونَ إِلَى النَّارِ وَاللّهُ يَدْعُوَ إِلَى الْجَنَّةِ وَالْمَغْفِرَةِ بِإِذْنِهِ وَيُبَيِّنُ آيَاتِهِ لِلنَّاسِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَذَكَّرُونَ (Al-Baqarah, 2:221)

“Do not marry the polytheist women, unless they believe; a Muslim slave-girl is better than a polytheist woman, even though she may attract you; and do not give (your women) in marriage to polytheist men, unless they believe; a Muslim slave is better than a polytheist, even though he may attract you. They invite to the Fire when Allah invites, by His will, to Paradise, and to forgiveness. He makes His verses clear to the people, so that they may heed the advice.”

For further details you can see its commentary in Ma’ariful Qur’an by Mufti Muhammad Shafi.

Dealing with Depression

Salaam. Since June 2004, after my aunt passed away I have felt really down, thinking about life and how I wish I was not here. I know this is wrong and insha-Allah I hope Allah can forgive me for thinking this, but it's the mind that says all the negative things. I also feel I am a bad person, as sometimes if it is salat time and I am tired, I will say "I will pray tomorrow".

Allow me to tell you that the only sure aspect of our life on this earth is that every one of us will die someday. Every one of us will leave this earth and go back to our Creator.

I am glad that you have realized this. You are not a bad person. You have just got your ideas all mixed up. You have been having a bad time since your aunt's death and your health has taken a dive. You find that your activities of daily living have become curtailed. Sister, you are the only one who can change what is happening to you. Allah gave you life, a well formed active brain and all your organs and systems are in good functioning order.

You owe it to yourself to get yourself up and about. You are a precious creation and human being. You have to decide whether you want to go on the way you are or do you want to change what is happening to you.

Allow me to suggest that you go and look after ladies and children who are in need of care. Perhaps just go spend time talking to them and finding out what their needs are. See if you can make some contribution towards alleviating some of their suffering. Take someone a flower or tell a blind person about the lovely feathers of a bird and its colors. Carry a little child on your back and listen to it laugh with joy as you bring it happiness. Touch an old person with kindness by rubbing her painful joints and obtain her blessings. Smile to the beggar whom you may have seen many times before but never taken real notice of. Greet her and say something kind to her. These are just little suggestions I am making. Let me know what you think of them. May Allah grant you sabr and the ability to give yourself another chance to enjoy your wonderful life on earth. Ameen. I also make a humble request that you remember my mother in your duas. She passed away last month after a long and painful illness. I am grateful to Allah that He gave me such a wonderful mother and that He grants her the highest stages in Jannah. Ameen.

Touching the Feet of Elders as Mark of Respect

It is widely practiced in my home country to pay regards to the superiors (parents, teachers, peers etc.) by touching their legs and return that touch to one's head or chest (popularly known as 'Qadam-Bosi'). Is it allowed in Sharia?

Qadam-Bosi or bowing down to seniors and touching their feet is a custom of the Indian Hindus. Such an action, irrespective of the intention of the person, is totally prohibited.

Bowing in reverence of any person is strictly prohibited in the Ahaadith of Rasulullah Sallal-lallahu alayhi wa sallam. Even the Sahaba, Radi-Allahu anhum, who were downright enthusiasts of Rasulullah Sallal-lallahu alayhi wa sallam didn't bow before Rasulullah Sallal-lallahu alayhi wa sallam in spite of the ardent desire to do so.

One’s Zakat Paid by Someone Else

My husband and I live with my parents-in-law. My father-in-law is retired and my mother-in-law is a surgeon (a bread winner). My mother-in-law takes care of most of our expenses such as food, shelter, college tuition, etc. My husband works in his mother's office. My husband and I have more than the zakatable assets.

Right now, my mother-in-law pays zakat for us (on our behalf), and she does it happily. My husband and I are wondering whether we need to pay zakat ourselves or not.

Zakat is an obligation upon each individual who has wealth on which Zakat is compulsory. Zakat may be paid by such an individual directly or via a proxy/representative.

Therefore you may pay your Zakat yourself or instruct someone to pay it on your behalf. Although, your mother-in-law is not obligated to pay your Zakat, if she pays it gratuitously on your behalf with your prior consent then your Zakat is valid and discharged. The same applies to your husband's Zakat. Each of you should still calculate your individual Zakat annually, even though this is discharged by someone else on your behalf with your consent.

Giving Zakat to Non-Muslims

Can we give zakat or fitra to non-Muslims who are needy?

Obligatory charities such as zakat and fitra should only be given to eligible Muslim recipients. One could give voluntary charities to non-Muslims.

Using Zakat for Distributing Qur'an to Non-Muslims

Is it allowed to use Zakat money to purchase Qur'an to be distributed to the non-Muslims?

No, it is not allowed to use Zakat money to purchase copies of Qur'an and distribute them to non-Muslims.

Internet Café

Is it permissible to engage in a cyber-cafe (Internet Cafe) business? Internet has advantages and disadvantages. Some of the disadvantages are young girls and boys do online chatting with strangers and also go on pornographic sites. There are also other un-Islamic entertainments in the cyber cafe, for example, music, etc. One of my friends runs a cyber-café. He often misses Salat and keeps his cyber cafe open till late at night, thus neglecting his family.

There are two aspects to your query; a) Cyber café business, b) Your friend's attitude

Cyber café business is analogous to the sale of a radio which may have permissible and prohibited programmes. In principle, it is permissible to sell any item that has dual or multiple purposes, some of which are permissible and others prohibited. The responsibility of the abuse will rest on the purchaser and not on the seller. However, if the service provider is certain that the cyber café will be abused, for example, communicating with the opposite gender, checking pornographic sites, etc., then it is not permissible to offer this service to such a person. It may not be possible or practical to restrict the use of a cyber café to any person, therefore, if one is certain that his clients will abuse the facility, it is Makrooh to engage in such a business as that will be assisting in sin.

The second aspect of your query regarding the attitude of your friend, neglecting his wife and family, etc. That is haram (strictly prohibited). If what you say is true then your friend is guilty of committing the sin of depriving his wife and children of their rights. Rasulullah Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam said, 'Verily, your wife has a right upon you.' (Sahih Muslim Hadith1156; Darul Wafa). Your friend is also guilty of committing a sin of not performing Salat. Rasulullah Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam said, 'Salat is the pillar of Deen. (Maqaasidul Hasanah pg.266, Khanzi) Sayyidna Umar, Radi-Allahu anhu, said, 'Whosoever safeguards this pillar has safeguarded Deen.' ( Muatta Imaam Maalik vol.1 pg.247; Ilmiyya) Your friend should make sincere Tawbah and change himself by fulfilling the rights of his family and performing Salat.

Alcohol in Medicines

Is it permissible to use alcohol based medicine if it eases pain? My mother-in-law suffers from arthritis of the back and does not like taking tablets as these have side affects, but the gel that she has been prescribed by the doctor has alcohol in it. The gel eases a lot of the pain which helps when she in praying her salat. Usually she has to pray most of her salat sitting down.

Since it is a Gel, we assume that it is for external use only. It is permissible to use alcohol based medicine for external use. And Allah Ta'ala Knows Best.

Birth Control

What is the Islamic verdict on contraception and birth control in general? Is it only permissible at times of need?

First of all, it should be known that, one of the main aims of marriage in Islam is procreation. Islam encourages its followers to reproduce in large numbers in order to increase the size of the Ummah of our Prophet (Allah bless him & give him peace).

Allah Most High says in the Qur’an:

“So now hold intercourse with your wives and seek (the children) what Allah has ordained for you.” ( Surah al-Baqarah, V: 187)

In a Hadith recorded by Imam Abu Dawud, Imam an-Nasa'i and others, the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said: “Marry women who are loving and reproduce in abundance, for I shall outnumber the other nations by you.”

It is clear from the above, that Shariah encourages its followers to abstain from practicing birth control, especially, when it is given a formal, organized and general approach. Therefore, one should refrain from practicing contraception unless necessary.

As far as the Shar’i ruling is concerned, there are two categories of birth control and the ruling of each is different as detailed below.

Permanent Irreversible Contraception

This type of contraception is carried out when the couple decide never to have a baby. It is done with a sterilization operation carried out either on the man (vasectomy) or the woman (tubectomy) and renders the couple incapable of ever having children.

The ruling with regards to this is that, it is unlawful (haram) to carry out such operations. There are many Narrations of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) and clear texts of the fuqaha (Jurists) which determine this.

The Companion, Sayyidna Abdullah ibn Mas’ud (Allah be pleased with him) said:

“We use engage in Jihad in the company of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) and our wives did not accompany us. We said: O Prophet of Allah! Shall we not castrate ourselves? He forbade us from doing so.” (Sahih al-Bukhari)

The great Hanafi Jurist, Allama Ibn Abidin (Allah have mercy on him) says:

“Castration of humans is Haram.” (Radd al-Muhtar).

Imam al-Ayni (Allah have mercy on him) says:

“Castration (and sterilization) is prohibited with the consensus of all the scholars.” (Umdat al-Qari)

However, in cases of extreme necessity, Irreversible contraception will become permissible. For example, a woman’s life is in danger or repeated pregnancies gravely damage her health, etc. This however, should be advised by a Muslim qualified doctor.

Temporary Reversible Contraception

There are many methods by which reversible contraception can be performed. Coitus interruptus (Withdrawal method), the pill, using of the condom, i.u.d, spermicidal, just to mention a few.

The ruling on reversible contraception is that, it is somewhat disliked (makruh tanzihan) if practiced without any reason. If there is a genuine reason, then it will be totally permissible with the permission of the wife. Some of the reasons (for the permissibility of reversible contraception), which the fuqaha mention, are:

a) Physical state of the woman,

b) Weakness and illness,

c) The couple are on a distant journey,

d) The couple’s relations are unstable and divorce is likely,

e) Spacing out children in order to give them adequate care and attention,

If contraception is practiced due to a reason contrary to the teachings of Shariah, then it will not be permissible. Some of these reasons are:

a) Fear of poverty and not being able to provide,

b) For the fashion of keeping small families and imitating the Kuffar,

c) Being ashamed of having a girl,

There are many narrations from the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) which signify the permissibility of reversible contraception, but at the same time indicate it to be undesirable.

Sayyiduna Jabir (Allah be pleased with him) says: “We used to practice coitus interruptus (withdrawal method) while the Qur’an was being revealed. The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) knew of this and did not prohibit us.” (Sahih al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim )

This has more or less been mentioned by the scholars in their books. (See Imam Nawawi in his commentary of Sahih Muslim, Mulla Ali al-Qari in al-Mirqat, Ibn Abidin in his Radd al-Muhtar and others.

Blood Transfusion and Organ Transplants

I am donating my blood every three months. Will it fetch any reward from Allah?. Donating my eyes after death will be permissible or not? What about donating any organ to needy in my lifetime? Jazakallah.

It is permissible to donate and transfuse blood if: a) There is a desperate need to donate blood; b) There is no other alternative; and c) This has been prescribed by an expert medical practitioner.

This permissibility is based on the principal of 'necessity relaxes prohibition'. (Al-Ashbaah).

However, the permissibility of blood donation and blood transfusion is determined by the following conditions:

a) The donor willingly donates his blood. If he is compelled to do so, it will not be permissible; b) There is no danger to his (the donor's) life or health; c) If the doctor feels that the patient will lose his life and there is no other alternative but recourse to blood transfusion; and d) There is no fear of death but the recovery is not possible without blood transfusion.

It is not permissible to sell one's blood or to pay the blood donor. However, if one is in need of blood desperately and the only means to obtain the blood is to purchase it, then only will it be permissible to pay for the blood.

Note: Blood donation and blood transfusion is not permissible for the sake of beautification or for any other reason other than genuine necessity.

Organ Transplant

Many Islamic scholars and Jurists have written on the subject of organ transplant. Over the decades, medicine has improved and advanced dramatically, taking medical technology to extreme heights.

Today, through the vast medical advancement, almost any transplant of the human body can be performed. Owing to the technological medical changes, prominent and renowned jurists of the world have carefully analysed the process of organ transplant and upon investigation made the following observations:

1. When any person's limb or organ becomes unusable and that limb or organ is needed to function in the future by a suitable replacement then the following conditions must be considered.

Use of a non-living component. Using the limb of those animals permissible to eat and slaughtered according to the Islamic rites of slaughter. There is almost certain fear of loss of life or danger of losing the limb/organ and the replacement is only found in haram animals or in permissible animals (which can be eaten) but not slaughtered according to Islamic rites, then use of such a component will be permissible. However, if there is no imminent danger of loss of life then it will not be permissible to use anything from the pig. 2. Similarly, a transplant of any nature whatsoever is permissible from one part to another part of the body of the same person when necessary.

3. The sale of any part of the human body is haram.

4. If any ill person reaches a stage that a specific organ becomes unusable (to such an extent) that if a human organ is not replaced into the body then there is an immediate danger of loss of life -- the human organ is the only suitable replacement and medical experts are absolutely certain that besides the human organ, there is no other life-saving substitute and the patients' life is in danger, and the human organ is easily available to the patient, then in that dire need a human organ transplant (to save one's life) will be permissible for the sick.

5. When a perfectly healthy person on the advice of an expert physician confirms that the removal of one kidney will not harm nor cause ill-health whatsoever and considering the deteriorating health of his sick immediate family member which may cause death and there is no other alternate or substitute then this will be permissible with the condition that the kidney be donated and not sold.

The bequest (Wasiyyat) of a person that after his death, his organs be donated is forbidden in Shariah.

Working as an Insurance Agent

I have been offered a position as an insurance agent selling auto insurance which is mandatory in Toronto, Canada. I only provide a quote for coverage but it is not binding. The insurance company does the binding/transaction. Will this be a halal option for me?

This form of occupation is not permissible. You should seek an alternative that is in accordance with Shariah principles.

May Allah bless you with halal income with ease and comfort and protect us all from haram. Ameen.

Working as an Accountant in a Restaurant Bar and Lounge

If someone works as an accountant in a restaurant bar and lounge where people have food as well as alcohol, is their earning halal or haram?

It is not at all correct to be in such an environment. If your work does not entail anything haram, then although your earnings cannot be categorically said to be haram, it is not befitting of a Muslim to work for such a company. One should seek alternate employment.

Using Credit Cards

1- If the payments of the credit card bills are made to the Credit Card company on due date, whether its use for buying will be Halal or not?

2- If the payment is some times delayed and made with additional charges, what will be the Hukm?

3- If some one draws some cash from the Cash Machines against the limit he has been assigned by the credit card company, whether the use of this cash amount will be Halal?

1/2. The best way to avail of the services of a credit card company is to have a direct debit arrangement with the issuer of the card. It means that as soon as an amount is due on the card holder the isssuer receives it by debiting the card holder's account with it or any other bank. This is to eliminate the chances of the accrual of any interest on the payable amount in case of delay in payment.However, if direct debit arrangement is not possible for any reason purchasing through a credit card is permissible only when the card holder is fully confident that he will pay the bill to the issuer within the due date and there is no apprehension that any interest will accrue with delay in payment.

3. Drawing cash from a cash machine provided by the credit card company is allowed if no interest is charged for the cash drawing. The company may charge some reasonable lumpsum amount for providing the services of the machines provided that it is not made an excuse for charging interest.

Installment Buying

As you know these days there are different means available to buy things on installments:

1. Banks financing schemes which are based normally on interest.

2. Different shops offer installment plans to buy things like Motorcycle, Electronic items etc.

3. Leasing (normally interest based)

For 1 & 3, these are not permissible (haram) as Interest is involved in it. I am confused about 2nd point i.e., installment plans because I heard it's permissible to buy things by this mean. Confusion point for me is, if you buy an item through installments its price is always higher than the actual one like a new motorcycle cost 70000/- but on installments its 90,000/- Is this the same we consider as interest or not? Please clarify about it in the light of Shariah

If the credit price is fixed it will be regarded as the full amount; the cash price would be considered to contain a discount. Provided that one price is fixed for installment payments at the time of the transaction, the sale will be valid.

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